clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thunder vs. Celtics: Oklahoma City comes alive in the second half, overwhelms Boston, 109-94

New, comments

The Thunder overcame a poor start with a 67-point second half, led by a lights-out shooting performance from Anthony Morrow.

-WBB
-WBB

Box ScoreCeltics Blog

It was just last night that the Thunder found themselves with a big lead early on. Then, as the game grinded along, the offense stalled and they ended up giving the game away.

Tonight, the exact opposite happened. Oklahoma City spotted the Celtics an 18-3 lead early on and looked genuinely befuddled from the field. Jeremy Lamb's shooting woes continued, and the rest of the team followed suit. It certainly looked like it'd be another disappointing loss in a season where those are becoming more and more common.

Instead, led by a lights-out shooting performance by Anthony Morrow, an inspired rebounding effort by Lance Thomas, and the usual steady hand of Reggie Jackson, the Thunder stormed back and got their most decisive win of the year.

What was, overall, the main reason the Thunder won?

Once again, and not at all surprisingly at this point (no matter how hard that may be to believe), it was Kendrick Perkins providing the initial spark off the bench. The Thunder trailed 24-15 after the first quarter, but Perkins went on a personal 6-0 run to get the team reinvigorated. From there, it was just a matter of chipping away.

The Thunder came in as the lowest-scoring team in the league, and after a poor shooting performance last night, and an equally-ugly first quarter tonight, it sure looked like points would be hard to come by.

After hanging around through the half, the Thunder came out scorching in the third, particularly once Morrow entered the game. Morrow scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half and was a legit threat to score no matter where he caught the ball on the floor.

Despite Lamb's 0-5 shooting from 3-point range, the Thunder (led by Morrow at 4-5) shot 10-24 from 3-point range.

The Thunder really got going when Reggie Jackson figured out something in the Celtics defense and began crushing them on the pick-and-roll with Adams:

Adams actually struggled once again, but his brief stretch with Jackson here was a much-needed boost before Perkins came in to close it out. In a strange role reversal, Adams was a game-worst -11 as the starter while Perkins was a game-best +26.

Still, the run instilled confidence in the offense, which led to beautiful basketball plays like this:


Also worth highlighting is Lance Thomas, whose effort on the boards was a spark both on defense and offense. He kept the Celtics from second-chance opportunities, and provided the Thunder with plenty themselves. He finished with a game-high 13 rebounds, 5 of which came on the offensive end. He also finished a very gaudy +21 from the field.

What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?

This was the type of game Thunder fans had been yearning for. I still have some concerns, particularly in how ineffective Adams has been, but when you see guys like Jackson and Morrow just flex their skills and carry the team to victory, we're right back where we have been after each Thunder win this year. When you see plays like the ones above, it's obvious the possibility to do this consistently is there.

It helps when the team finds ways to actually close out a game. The Thunder has found themselves in position to win just about every game so far, but rarely have closed out well. Tonight, it basically only took Morrow and Jackson to turn that around, at least in terms of scoring:

OKC sure looked like a team that could tread water once again, but that's been the story so far this season: just when you think they've turned a corner, they come out and lay an egg. The Thunder gets another opportunity Friday night when they come back home to take on another beatable opponent in the Pistons.

Can they carry over the momentum and go on their first winning streak of the year?

***

Chris's Awards

Thunder Wonder: Anthony Morrow: 28 points on 11-16 shooting

Thunder Down Under: Reggie Jackson: 28 points (8-15 shooting), 8 assists

Thunder Blunder: Jeremy Lamb: 4 points on 2-10 shooting

Thunder Plunderer: Rajon Rondo: 20 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds

***

Next game: vs. Detroit Pistons Friday 11/14 @ 7:00 PM CDT